Archive for the ‘Contests’ Category

Winner of the HAH drawing

Monday, May 21st, 2012

A reader with the initials KN has won a print edition of “Want Me.”  Congrats!

Thank you to all who entered, especially to those who took the time to share your thoughts and experiences.

I have the reading speed of a third grader, so I’ve gotten through less than a third of the blogs posted so far, but I’m looking forward to reading all of them. 🙂

Thank you again to everyone who participated.

Take care,

Rowan


Hop Against HomophobiaInternational Day Against Homophobia

A Breath of Fresh Air

Wednesday, May 16th, 2012

When I was in college, I met a guy who we’ll call Mike. Oddly enough, most of my friends from that era would end up coming out in one form or another after graduation, which brings up interesting questions on how we’d come together as a group in the first place. But Mike was my first friend who was out before I even met him.

At first, he was a friend of a friend. But we’d talk, and it was cool. I didn’t yet have a word for how I identified, and being around him was a breath of fresh air for reasons I wouldn’t understand until years later.

My college had a movie night. It was a very small, rural town and the two big weekly events for students were movies on Wednesdays and dancing on Saturdays. Most of us would go and catch a movie every. single. week. This particular time was no different. I went with my usual group of friends, which now included Mike because he was a friend of a friend. I don’t remember what was playing. I only remember that one of the main characters was gay.

And there’s a reason I remember that detail and nothing else.

Five minutes into the movie, there were snickers all through the theater. Five minutes after that, I started hearing things like “Oh, he’s totally a friend of Dorothy’s,” and “He’s light on his toes,” and “What a cake walker.” I frowned, wondering what the hell they were talking about. I’d lived overseas most of my life, and at that point I wasn’t at all familiar with the vast array of slurs that existed in the guise of almost-normal sentences in America*. But then words like “fag” began to filter through and I started to get the context.

I glanced at Mike, who somehow in the seating shuffle had ended up next to me. His jaw was tight, every muscle in his body had gone rigid. He kept his gaze locked on that movie screen.

I had no idea what to do. At nineteen, who does?

So I did the only thing I could think of. I leaned close to him and asked if he wanted to go outside.

His whole body slumped against the seat. He took a deep, shuddering breath and nodded. Without another word, we got up and walked out of the theater.

Once outdoors, we wandered aimlessly for a while. Quiet. Listening to fall leaves rustling on the wind. He apologized for ruining my night. I said I liked being there with him better and it was the jerks in the theater that had ruined the movie. He apologized again. I asked why because I was dense like that back then. He smiled and started to talk about other things. I listened.

That’s all we did. I don’t know how long we were out there—for damned sure past the length of the movie. And somewhere over the course of the night we went from being two people with a friend in common to actual friends.

A while back, Anderson Cooper did a special on bullying. It turns out, as much as bullying often induces a complex mob mentality within groups, intervening is just as contagious. All it takes is one intervener to get the ball rolling. A person witnesses the intervention, learns from it, and steps in when a similar situation pops up. More people witness, more people intervene. Even in the case of the person being bullied—if someone intervenes on their behalf, that person is much more likely to become an intervener as a result, developing a sense of empowerment that not only makes them want to change their own situation, but everyone else’s situations as well.

That is amazing for so many reasons. It’s also amazing because almost every bully interviewed in that special admitted to being bullied at some point in their lives, sometimes continuously. We repeat the behaviors we’re taught, and we go to great lengths to survive the culture we are in. Intervening not only helps victims, it changes society by creating a culture where the goal is not to survive, but to thrive.

Often it doesn’t take much. A word. A hand. A little quiet attention. It doesn’t matter so much what you do, as much that you do something that diverges from the tactics that bullies use.

Today is the International Day Against Homophobia. It makes me think about that night at the movie theater so many years ago, and how stepping out into the open air changed two people. It makes me think about how utterly terrified I was to come out to my own family and friends, then again to my readers. Both those times, I thought about Mike, who often told me his horror stories, but also shared how he loved and how he was loved, and how—even beyond that—he loved himself. I took a deep breath. And it was better.

That’s the power of intervention. It doesn’t always succeed, but it always, always makes a difference. So be an intervener. Change the world in big and little and amazing ways. Start today. Make things better now.

Listen. Tell your own stories. When something happens to your friend (or someone who could use a friend), speak up, step in. Give them a safe space. A breath of fresh air.


*I’m not saying other countries don’t have the same sorts of slurs. I grew up a military brat, so while I lived overseas, I wasn’t immersed in those cultures because I lived on base. At the same time, I was far away from the States and didn’t experience American culture as many Americans might experience it. An odd little bubble that wasn’t without bullies, but had its own culture and vocabulary.


I’d very much like to hear your stories and experiences on both acceptance and non-acceptance, so please feel free to comment below.



Hop Against HomophobiaThis post is a part of the Hop Against Homophobia. Click here to see what many other writers are sharing on the subject. I’m also giving away a copy of Want Me in a drawing open to anyone eighteen years and older. To enter, send an email with “hop” in the subject to mcbride_rowan@yahoo.com (mcbride_rowan at yahoo dot com) with your name and snail mail addy in the body. Drawing closes at 11:59PM CST on May 20th, and the winner will be notified via email the morning of the 21st. The winner’s initials will also be posted on this blog that day.International Day Against Homophobia

Let’s ready to HOP!

Wednesday, April 25th, 2012

I keep telling myself that I’ll write better post titles. It doesn’t appear to be working

I’m participating in two blog hops in May, and I’d like you to hop along with me!

Hop Against Homophobia logo

The first is for Hop Against Homophobia, which runs from May 17th to 20th. May 17th marks the International Day Against Homophobia, so a lot of authors are getting together to share their thoughts and experiences. I encourage you to participate, not only to win prizes (I’ll be giving away a hardcopy of Want Me), but to share your stories with us as we share ours with you. You can find more information here.

Scavenger Hunt Logo

On May 25th, Miho Li is hosting a scavenger hunt. Follow the clues to solve the puzzle, and you’ll be entered to win twenty books, including an e-copy of One Good Hand, the first book in the “One Good” series. During the search, authors Katrina Strauss, Z.A. Maxfield, Sloan Parker, and many more will be posting content exclusive to the hunt. I don’t know who I’ll draw yet, but the writer who gets me will post a sneak peek of the first chapter of One Good Verse, the third story in its series. More details can be had on Miho’s site.

It should be good. I hope to see you.

Easter Chat!

Wednesday, April 4th, 2012

I’ll be participating in an M/M chat on Easter weekend, hosted by Literary Nymphs. Some of the other writers attending are Ariel Tachna, Jaime Samms, Andrea Speed, Christiane France, Kathryn Scannell, Berengaria Brown, Sloan Parker, and Jessica Freely.

To play, you have to be a member of the Literary Nymphs Chat loop here: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/LiteraryNymphsChat/. These chats tend to be mega high traffic, so when you join I highly suggest selecting “web only” as your membership default. I’ve known people to wake up with a thousand emails in their inbox. lol.

The chat goes from April 7th to 8th. I’ll be posting excerpts, chatting people up, and giving away an e-copy of One Good Hand. If you drop by, please give me a wave. It’s my first official chat in two years, and I’d love to hear from you. 🙂

Let’s Play With Search Engines

Thursday, December 1st, 2011

I want to try a little experiment.

At the end of every year I post a “Searchin’ the Search Phrases” list containing my favorite key word phrases that have resulted in a hit on my site during that year. This time I’d like to make it more…interactive.

So here’s the thing. Come up with a creative search phrase about me, my stories, muscle growth, etc. and type it into an engine like Google or Bing. If my site comes up (the one at www.RowanMcBride.com, not this blog), click on the link. Clicking is important–it has to actually result in a hit so I can see the genius you have wrought in my stats aggregator. Then email your phrase to mcbride_rowan@yahoo.com (mcbride_rowan at yahoo dot com) with “Search Phrase Contest” in the subject line. At the end of this month I’ll post my usual list, but I’ll also post my favorite fan-generated phrase.

That fan gets a free copy of the new book on release day. Which will be in mid-January. Ish.

Sound fun? Let’s play.



Edit: Forgot to mention that you can enter as many times as you want. XD

Pepero Winners

Saturday, November 12th, 2011

The winners from the Pepero drawing of yesterday are Victoria (chocolate) and Teddy (strawberry). Please drop me a line at mcbride_rowan@yahoo.com with your snail mail addresses. 🙂

Congrats! And thank you to everyone who participated!

A Just Perfect Pepero Day

Friday, November 11th, 2011

I’m backsliding into terrible title territory. And rampant alliteration, apparently. Still, I don’t think it’s as bad as Recharging with My Einstein Hair or Down with OTP (yeah you know me).

Ahem. Anyway.

I have news! And salutations! And prizes!

News: Just Perfect is tentatively slated for release in January 2012 from Torquere Press. W00t!

Salutations: Happy Pepero Day! This is a Valentine-like holiday celebrated in South Korea where candy is given to friends and loved ones. Pepero is usually the gift of choice, because Pepero comes in the form of delicious sticks of goodness and the sticks resemble elevens. Hence the November 11th date. And this year is particularly cool because it’s 11-11-11. In Japan it’s Pocky Day for the same reasons, although I hear the holiday itself is not as popular there.

Prizes: See these cylinders of heaven pictured below?

Yeah, giving them away. All you have to do is comment on this blog post any time today (11.11.11, Central Standard Time) and tell me which one you’d prefer. I’ll pick two names at random. One lucky person will win the strawberry Pepero, and one lucky person will win the dark chocolate Pepero.

Winners will be announced 11.12.11, so be sure to check back here to see if you’ve got yourself a cylinder.

Happy Pepero Day!



It’s also Veterans Day but I’m always unsure how to go about observing that one. My dad and brother are both vets and sometimes it seems wildly out of place to say “Happy Veterans Day.” So I’ll just say thank you to all those who’ve served their country. You’ve made tremendous sacrifices on our behalf, and I am humbled by your courage.